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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, March 23rd (All times Eastern)

Columbus Blue Jackets (36-28-6) at New York Islanders (26-35-9), 1 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets will try to rebound from their second loss in three games, as they aim to get their playoff push back on track in Sunday's road test against the New York Islanders.

Columbus enters Sunday with 78 points, leaving them one point out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Detroit and Washington are tied for the East's second wild card berth with 79 points, but the Red Wings hold the current tiebreaker due to having played two less games than the Capitals.

Detroit is in action today against Minnesota while the Caps are off until Tuesday.

The Blue Jackets were tied with the New York Rangers for third place in the Metropolitan Division heading into Friday's showdown versus the Blueshirts.

However, the Rangers claimed a 3-1 decision in the important battle for playoff positioning to grab a two-point lead over Columbus for the last of the division's three automatic bids to the postseason. The Rangers have since pushed that lead to four points after Saturday's win over New Jersey.

Nick Foligno scored the lone goal in Friday's setback, while Sergei Bobrovsky turned away 29 shots in the Blue Jackets' third loss in five games.

"Obviously, disappointed by the result. I thought our guys, under very tough circumstances, played a hard game," said Columbus head coach Todd Richards. "I thought they were physical, they stood up for each other. It wasn't easy. We were right in it all the way to the end."

The game marked Rick Nash's return to Columbus, as the star winger visited Nationwide Arena for the first time since being dealt to the Rangers nearly two years ago. Nash didn't register a point, but he fired seven shots on goal and also was involved in a memorable scrap with Bobrovsky.

Already showered with boos, Nash, who was selected first overall by Columbus in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, stoked the fans' ire even more late in the second period. The former face of the Blue Jackets drove hard to the crease and the puck went into the net after a collision with Bobrovsky at 17:06. The referee immediately waved off the goal, ruling Nash made incidental contact with the Columbus goalie.

Nash then got to his feet and incited a melee by punching Bobrovsky. Seeking retribution for him going after Bobrovsky, Matt Calvert engaged in fisticuffs with Nash at the start of the third period.

The Blue Jackets enter Sunday having won three straight on the road and the club is 17-15-3 as the visiting team this season.

Columbus has won four straight against the Islanders, including the first two of four encounters in 2013-14. The Metro Division rivals will complete their season series on April 6 in Columbus.

The Jackets also have won two straight on Long Island, although both of those victories came after regulation.

The Islanders are 18 points out of a playoff spot in the East and are playing out the string. New York is just 3-5-1 this month and has lost four of its last six games.

New York hasn't played since Tuesday when Matt Moulson and the visiting Minnesota Wild posted a 6-0 rout at Nassau Coliseum. Moulson scored two goals and added an assist against his former team.

Anders Nilsson gave up all six goals on 22 shots for the Islanders, who lost defenseman Brian Strait to a broken left hand in the second period. Strait will be sidelined indefinitely.

"Nothing is going to come easy for us," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "We had some pretty good chances. It just seemed like when we gave them a chance, with the skill that they have, it was in the back of our net."

The Islanders also could be without leading scorer Kyle Okposo, fellow forward Michael Grabner and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky on Sunday. Okposo, who leads New York with 69 points, is dealing with a lower-body injury, while Visnovsky is hampered by an upper-body issue. Both players are questionable for Sunday, while, Grabner expects to miss a fourth straight game with a concussion.

Of course, New York is also without star centerman John Tavares for the remainder of the season after he tore his knee playing for Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics.

"It takes me longer to read the injury report than is has at any other point since I've been here," Capuano said of his hobbled club. "I haven't seen anything like this in a while."

The Isles are just 10-18-8 at the Coliseum this season and are completing a four-game homestand this afternoon.

03/23 10:35:21 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
TEX 3
CLE 12
Final
COL 6
CIN 4
Final
MIA 2
PIT 5
Final
CWS 5
TOR 3
Final
KAN 2
NYY 4
Final
BOS 4
MIN 6
Final
PHI 0
NYM 7
Final
SEA 3
TAM 0
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
DET 3
OAK 2
Final
HOU 4
BAL 5
Final
WAS 3
CHC 0
Final
ARI 3
STL 4
Final
SDP 5
ANA 4
Final
ATL 3
LOS 2
1:05pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Tonight
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Tonight
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
7:05pm Monday
TOR
WAS
 
7:10pm Monday
CHC
MIA
 
7:10pm Monday
MIN
BOS
 
8:10pm Monday
BAL
HOU
 
8:10pm Monday
MIL
STL
 
8:40pm Monday
LOS
COL
 
9:40pm Monday
ATL
ARI
 
10:05pm Monday
TAM
ANA
 
10:10pm Monday
NYM
SDP
 
10:10pm Monday
NYY
SEA
 
10:15pm Monday
PIT
SFG
 
Final
HOU 90
GSW 104
Final
ANA 2
CHI 5
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR